Losing a loved one is hard enough, but when their death could have been prevented if someone had acted differently, it’s even harder to cope. Wrongful death cases are some of the most heartbreaking and complex legal cases a law firm can take on. These cases hinge on the idea that someone’s negligence or actions caused another person to die. If you have had first-hand experience of such an incident and want justice for your loved one, H Groves Law and an Athens wrongful death lawyer can help you during this difficult time. Our team of personal injury attorneys has the experience and compassion to guide you through the legal process and get you the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us at (770) 329-1868 as soon as possible so that we can take a look at your case and increase your chances of winning.
How is Wrongful Death Defined in Athens, Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, wrongful death is defined as a death that occurs due to the negligence or intentional act of another person. The term “wrongful death” also refers to a death that occurs due to a defective product or dangerous premises. If you have lost a loved one in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed. In order to do so, you will need to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident and that their actions resulted in the death of your loved one. You will also need to show that you have suffered financial damages as a result of the death, such as funeral expenses or the loss of your loved one’s income.
Who is Qualified to File A Wrongful Death Claim in Athens?
A wrongful death claim may be filed by the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased. If there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent, then the claim may be filed by the administrator or executor of the deceased’s estate. The administrator or executor must be appointed by the court. In Athens, Georgia, the probate court has jurisdiction over cases involving wrongful death claims.
It is possible to file a wrongful death claim if the death is caused by the negligence or intentional act of another person or entity. For example, if a person is killed in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, such as drinking and driving, or texting while driving, the deceased’s family may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver. Or, if a person is killed by a defective product, the family may file a claim against the manufacturer of the product.
In order to succeed on a wrongful death claim in Athens, Georgia, the plaintiff must prove the following:
- The death was caused by another person’s negligence or intentional act.
- The plaintiff is a surviving spouse, child, or parent of the deceased.
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of the death.
If these elements are met, then the court will award damages to the plaintiff. These damages may include compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and support from the deceased, and loss of companionship and love. While no amount of money can ever truly make up for the loss of a loved one, filing a wrongful death claim can help to ease some of the financial burdens that have been placed on the family.
What Types of Damages are Recoverable?
In a wrongful death claim, the following types of damages are typically recoverable: medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, loss of earnings, loss of benefits (including healthcare and pension), loss of companionship, and punitive damages. Punitive damages are usually awarded if the defendant’s actions were particularly horrifying leading to the death of your loved one.
To recover damages in a wrongful death action, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions (or inaction) resulted in the death of the deceased. You can discuss your case with us so that we can figure out what legal options are applicable. At H Groves Law, we promise to leave no stones unturned in order to win the case. We understand how painful it is to love someone close to you, and so our lawyers will do their best to find out pieces of evidence that can nail the offender down in court.
Can Surviving Family File For Punitive Damages?
In a successful wrongful death lawsuit, the court may provide damages to the surviving family members. These damages can include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are awarded to compensate the family for financial losses, such as lost wages and medical expenses. Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate the family for losses that cannot be quantified in monetary terms, such as pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded by the court. These damages are meant to punish the negligent party and deter future wrongdoing. They are awarded when the court finds that the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, and they are intended to punish the defendant while also deterring others engaging in similar behavior. In a wrongful death case, the court will consider the circumstances of the death, the relationship between the parties, and the financial impact of the death on the surviving family members when determining whether to award punitive damages.
How is Negligence Proved in a Wrongful Death Case?
In order to prove negligence in a wrongful death case in Athens, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased, that this duty was breached, and that this breach led to the death of the deceased. Here are some of the steps that can prove negligence in a wrongful death case.
- The first step is to establish that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. This duty can arise in many different ways, but typically it is based on some sort of relationship between the parties. For example, a doctor owes a duty of care to his or her patients, and a property owner owes a duty of care to those who are lawfully on the premises.
- Once it has been established that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased, the next step is to show that this duty was breached. This can be done by showing that the defendant did something that a reasonable person would not have done in the same situation, or by proving that the defendant failed to do something that a reasonable person would have done.
- The next step involves proving that this breach of duty led to the death of the deceased. This requires proving causation, which can be difficult in some cases. However, our attorneys are experienced enough to find out pieces of evidence that can lead to the verdict of guilty against the offender.
- The final step is to put all the pieces of evidence together and set up the case so that the judge can understand how and what caused the death of your loved one. Our lawyers will ensure that the defender has no possible ways to escape from the grip of the law. We will prove that the defendant’s action caused the death of your loved one and that you are eligible for compensation.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Athens?
If you believe that your loved one’s death was the result of another person or company’s careless actions, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Athens, Georgia follows a specific process for these types of claims, and it is important to understand each step in order to protect your legal rights.
The first step is to determine who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim. In Athens, only certain family members are allowed to bring forth this type of lawsuit. These include the deceased person’s spouse, child, parents, or personal representative. If there is more than one eligible individual, they will need to decide amongst themselves who will file the claim.
Once you have determined that you are eligible to file a claim, you will need to gather evidence to support your case. This is where we will take over the case. We will find the pieces of evidence against the offender. This can include medical records, police reports, eyewitness statements, and any other relevant documentation.
After gathering all of the necessary evidence, we will file a complaint with the court. This document will outline the specific details of your case and why we believe the other party is at fault for your loved one’s death. After the complaint has been filed, the court will decide whether or not to move forward with a trial. If the court decides in your favor, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your losses.
Contact An H Groves Law Athens Wrongful Death Lawyer Today For A FREE Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered the loss of a family member in an accident, it is important to contact a reputable wrongful death lawyer immediately. Our attorneys at H Groves Law have years of experience helping families through this difficult time and will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at (770) 329-1868 for a free consultation.